A searing tale about the juvenile system and the nuances of familial love. A fast-paced epic fantasy inspired by Nigerian mythology. A sapphic love story between two young college students. A gripping thriller about abuse and murder. These are some of the stories published by Black women this month. They span various genres and explore numerous facets of Black life. Below are 21 Ninety’s picks of books by Black women published in August.

“Forgive Me Not” – Jennifer Baker

Photo Courtesy of Amazon

Jennifer Baker’s “Forgive Me Not” explores the realities of the juvenile system and the lines between family and forgiveness. The story follows a teenager who has to find a way to repair her bond with her family after accidentally killing her sister. “Forgive Me Not” interrogates the elasticity of love and the cost of letting go.

“Forged By Blood” – Ehigbor Okosun

Photo Courtesy of Amazon

In “Forged By Blood” Ehigbor Okosun spins a delicate, fascinating tale grounded in Nigerian mythology. The story follows Dèmi as she seeks vengeance for the death of her mother while living under a tyrannical regime. This book offers magic, otherworldly possibilities, brilliant writing and clever use of historical contexts.

“The Blue, Beautiful World” – Karen Lord

“The Blue, Beautiful World” by Karen Lord is a delectable work of science fiction. The book spans universes and explores the nuances of human character. Samit Basu describes the book as a “thrilling, cerebral, empathetic, and hopeful speculative fiction the world absolutely needs—now and always.”

“I Feed Her to The Beast and The Beast Is Me” – Jamison Shea

In Jamison Shea’s debut, power and its ever-consuming possibilities, take centre stage. According to its official blurb, “I Feed Her to The Beast and The Beast Is Me” is described as “a slow-burn horror that lifts a veil on the institutions that profit on exclusion and the toll of giving everything to a world that will never love you back.”

“The Dark Place” – Britney S. Lewis

Photo Courtesy of Amazon

“The Dark Place” is a striking Young Adult horror. The book interrogates the fluidity of space and time. It sees the main character Hylee Williams navigating several metaphysical worlds while trying to make sense of them.

“June and Inobe’s Dating Game” – Jillian Amena

In “June and Inobe’s Dating Game” Jillian Amena pens a heartwarming sapphic love story set in college. The book explores themes of queerbaiting, queer love, online trolling and the outsize power of love. 

“What Never Happened” – Rachel Howzell Hall

“What Never Happened” is a gripping thriller about returning to the past and the cost of sifting through forgotten rummages. The book follows the main character Collette “Coco” Webster, as she “begins to draw connections between a serial killer’s crimes and her own family tragedy.”

Looking for other literary works by Black women? Check out 21Ninety’s May, June and July roundups.